Define your X factor

This personal brand experience is your opportunity to learn more about yourself so you can make decisions and plans that maximize your university experience and chart a course for your career. It will also help you position yourself so you can reach your goals.

 

What’s your brand?

In short, it’s your reputation. Each interaction you have with others has the opportunity to create a memorable experience, teaching them what they can expect from you. When you’re consistent in delivering those experiences, you build a strong reputation. Delivering your brand clearly and consistently across a wide audience helps open doors to opportunities. Your brand becomes your personal calling card—a unique promise of value; a distinct and authentic representation of you. In building your personal brand, you will define your individuality, maximize your strengths and manage your choices now to create future opportunities.
Use the activities offered here to take charge of your professional success—stand out while being your best self.
Good luck and enjoy the journey.

 

Unleash your super skill

People with strong brands are clear about who they are. They know and maximize their strengths. Here, we give you the opportunity to uncover and define your skills and strengths. You’ll be using a three-step process, Document, Distil and Validate.

Document

To help guide you through this exercise, answer the questions below:

  1. What are the strengths that others acknowledge in me?
  2. When working on a team, what roles do I seek to fulfil?
  3. When faced with an overwhelming obstacle, what are my “go to” skills to overcome it?
  4. What was the most successful project I ever tackled and what made me successful?
  5. What was the most important team role I ever fulfilled and why?

Distil

To deeper your introspection, answer the questions below:

  1. What strengths and skills came up over and over again?
  2. Which are my motivating skills—the skills that excite me?
  3. What are my burnout skills—the skills I’ve mastered but would rather not use every day?
  4. Which strengths and skills are going to be most helpful in achieving my career goals?
  5. What skills are missing? What skills would I like to build but have not yet had the opportunity to practice?

Based on your responses to the previous questions, document your top five strengths—your super skills. For example, you might use words like “creative,” “relationship-creator,” or “make the complex simple.” Then, you can start to validate your self-perception with feedback from others.

Validate

Up to now, the exercise has been focused on your own perceptions. Now, it’s time to validate what you documented about yourself. Do others experience your super skills? Would they agree with your assessment? You have a couple of options for completing this part of the process:
Option 1
Post the following to your Facebook wall: As part of PwC’s Personal  brand experience, I completed an exercise to help me unearth my strengths. I came up with “Strength 1, strength 2, strength 3.” What do you think are my greatest strengths?
Option 2
Ask your friends, professors, and others in your brand community (unprompted) what they think sets you apart from others, then compare their responses to your self-assessment. You could do this in person or via email or social media, whichever you think may give you the most honest responses to help you complete your profile. If you choose email or social media, you can also consider setting up a free and anonymous survey using a tool such as Survey Monkey.


Conquer your weakest point

Stress can leave you depleted. It can weaken your immune system, affect your sleep and drain your adrenals while impacting every facet of your life, your relationships and your success. It can also have a negative impact on your personal brand.
Stress is the body’s response to a threat or demand such as homework, a test, applying for college, going on an interview, dating, being in an argument, unresolved conflict, lack of sleep, lack of money, a dentist appointment or being late.
One way to help manage your stress is to be clear about the who, what, when, where, why and how of your stress. Once you have figured out some of your stress triggers, you can implement stress-management techniques designed to best address your specific stressors and symptoms.

Document

Some stressors are on-going, chronic and may be predictable. Others are unexpected, potentially life-changing, and often out of your control. Even when you’re the person who controls the decision that leads to stress, it may be no less stressful. But with warning, you have some choices about how to react.
Reflect on the last 12 months of your life to answer the questions below.

What key changes have you experienced in the past 12 months?

Please, list them. For each change, place a check mark next to C if it was in your control and place check mark next to O if it was out of your control (e.g., change in living arrangements, started freshman year of college, loss of financial security, loss of a loved one, etc.).

Distil

What are your stress triggers that are likely to show up repeatedly in your life? Often these are the things within your control, or at the very least, under your influence. Sometimes these are things that fall short of your expectations for yourself and others and sometimes they are violations of your values. Paying close attention to what causes stress will be the first step down the yellow brick road to finding the cure.

  1. Things you do that cause you stress (e.g. late to class, unprepared, overcommitting, people pleasing, money management, conflict management, etc.)
  2. Things that other people do that annoy you (e.g. being late, gossiping, not pulling their weight, sloppy work, borrowing money, arguing)

Validate

Taking a proactive approach to either prevent or mitigate those stressors that cause chronic or repeated stress will likely address 80% of the stressors in your everyday life.
Consider these three actions:

1. Talk with friends to share best ideas on stress reduction.
2. Go online to find sites that focus on stress reduction.
3. Check out the stress tips (click here to download) and select some options you will put to the test now. If they work, you will have lowered your stress. If they don’t, try another method.

Now add your own…
Create your list of additional ideas you have learned from your friends here.
Make a commitment to yourself. What three stress tips will you test for the next 21 days?
(Studies indicate it takes 21 consecutive days of practicing a behaviour to create a new habit.)

Continue the exercise